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Biden administration pauses UAE and Saudi arms sales. What about Morocco ?

Biden administration has paused UAE and Saudi arms sales amid broader review. Will the United States do the same with Morocco, which agreed on normalizing ties with Israel as Donald Trump recognized its sovereignty over the Sahara.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. / DR
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The Biden administration has suspended arms sales agreed by Donald Trump to two Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). President Joe Biden’s decision freezes a deal to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, as well as other arms destined for Saudi Arabia. The deal was concluded by Abu Dhabi in exchange for its recognition of the State of Israel.

«The department is temporarily pausing the implementation of some pending U.S. defense transfers and sales under Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to review», a State Department spokesperson said.

On January 19, during his hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged «to end» his country's support «for the military campaign led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen».

What about Morocco ?

This «temporary suspension» affecting two major allies of Washington - one of which has concluded an agreement with Israel - does not concern Morocco, another major client of the United States' arms industry. All eyes are on Blinken regarding the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara by Donald Trump on December 10, as part of the Abraham Accords.

Antony Blinken affirmed, on January 19 during his appearance before the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the US Senate, for approval of his appointment as head of American diplomacy, that he plans to «carefully examine the commitments that may have been made in the context of the normalization of relations» between Arab countries with Israel.

Words he reiterated during his first press briefing  which he hosted Wednesday, January 27, with the Foreign secretary. On Morocco, he preferred to evade the question, insisting on arm contracts and the Houthis (Yemen) classified as a terrorist group by Mike Pompeo and the Iranian file.

During the US highest-level contact with Israel, Blinken «welcomed the Abraham Accords which were signed in recent months between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco», i24news reported.

«Our commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct, and I look forward to working with the Foreign Minister and others toward our common goals», the new US Secretary of State said on his Twitter.

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